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Daily Slop - 12 Jan 24: Articles, podcasts & tweets from around the web to keep you in touch with the Commanders

A collection of articles, podcasts & tweets from around the web to keep you in touch with the Commanders, the NFC East and the NFL in general

NFL: APR 27 2023 Draft Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Commanders links


‘A wealth of football knowledge’: three things to know about Rick Spielman

As the person on the committee with the most institutional knowledge of the NFL, Spielman’s thoughts on the candidates will matter a great deal.

“Rick Spielman brings a wealth of football knowledge, the ins and outs of football,” Harris said. “He was Executive of the Year with the Vikings, with many other teams and kind of brings that knowledge of football that you need when you’re interviewing candidates.”

Here are three things you need to know about Spielman as he helps Harris evaluate candidates.

1. He’s been in the NFL for decades.

There aren’t many people — executives, coaches or players — who have been around the NFL as long as Spielman. Over half of the former general manager’s life — 34 years, to be exact — has been dedicated to the league, and he’s had success almost everywhere he’s been.

Washington Times (subscription)

Eric Bieniemy bet on himself this year in Washington. He lost.

Bieniemy’s hard-charging style never played well in the Commanders locker room, as veteran players bristled when he changed the schedule, demanding more of the team. Head coach Ron Rivera aired those concerns openly during training camp, later apologizing for creating a distraction and backing Bieniemy’s style.

Still, as the year ended, opinions were lukewarm at best among the team’s longtime players.

“I might be the only one to say it, but I think we had our ups and downs,” tight end Logan Thomas said. “We had some good, we had some bad. It’s one of those things where something new comes in after you’ve been used to something else for a couple years and sometimes you can bang heads. But I respect him for coming to work every day and being the same person every day. If you have a person who comes in and can be the same person, you can get on board with that.”

The culture clash is one reason new owner Josh Harris has instituted a sweeping evaluation of the building as he works to build his team moving forward.

Harris said Monday that Bieniemy would be approached as part of the coaching search, but made no commitments beyond that.

Where Bieniemy goes from here is somewhat unknown. It’s unlikely he has done enough to land a head coaching position, though all it takes is one team to hire him for that role. He could also chase one of the prominent offensive coordinator jobs, like Chicago or Seattle, and use success there to cleanse the memories of his time in Washington.

Regardless of which direction he goes, it’s unlikely that his time in Washington will be remembered as the career launcher it was initially hoped to be.

Riggo’s Rag

With Adam Peters in pole position, have Commanders overlooked one candidate?

Things are moving quickly.

Commanders would be wise to consider Ray Agnew

And maybe, as Ryan further hinted, we should also be looking at Ray Agnew.

Agnew, who thus far has not been identified as someone the Commanders intend to interview, is currently the Lions assistant general manager. He was hired into that position in 2021 when Brad Holmes got promoted to the top front-office job and the results have been remarkable. They turned over a roster that had been one of the weakest in the league and now have them in serious championship contention.

The potential Commanders’ candidate has been with Holmes for a long time, dating back to their days with the Los Angeles Rams. Like Peters, Agnew has extensive experience as a scout and now has some upper executive experience as well. Like Peters, he has been around quality people for most of his career. At 56 years old, he is older but still young enough to stick around for a long time.

His management career was delayed due to his 11 years in the NFL playing on the defensive line for the New England Patriots, New York Giants, and Rams. For the first five years of his playing career, he suited up for Bill Belichick.

Last Word on Sports

Jayden Daniels is officially eligible for the 2024 NFL Draft. After a Heisman winning season, what is his scouting report?

In 2022 Daniels set career highs in completions, attempts, total yards, total touchdowns, and completion percentage. That would be extremely notable if he didn’t turn around and shatter all of those metrics in 2023. Jayden Daniels finished fifth in passing yards, led the NCAA in yards per attempt, and threw for 40 touchdowns while only throwing four interceptions. Oh, he was also fourth in the SEC in rushing yards. Yes, a quarterback was only topped by three players including an All-American in Cody Schrader. His ten rushing touchdowns were more than any quarterback not named Jalen Milroe, who he tied. Daniels showed a clear as day year over year development and appears to be extremely ready to step into the NFL.

Daniels is lightning in a bottle with the ability to invigorate an organization overnight. His playstyle is such that the team can keep their offense above water with designed runs and read option packages, but can launch into perennial contenders if they get Daniels some weapons. After a year of hearing about how this could be a two man race at the top of the quarterback rankings, Daniels has every argument to be the most successful quarterback from this draft. If his name is called for your favorite team in April, rejoice.

Podcasts & videos

The Latest on the Search | John Keim Report

Washington Commanders Head of Football Operations and Coach Openings Best Jobs in NFL

Winners Building a WINNING Culture in Washington | Command Center | Washington Commanders

NFC East links

Bleeding Green Nation

Jalen Hurts admits returning to the Eagles-Giants game wasn’t good for his finger injury

The Eagles’ QB hasn’t attempted to throw since the Week 18 game and will try his best in Monday night’s wild card matchup.

As for getting back on the field Monday night, Hurts said that he’ll just have to try his best, but admitted that he hasn’t tried to throw since last Sunday.

“Obviously, leaving that game and attempting to go back in that game, probably wasn’t physically the best idea — not having much control over the things that I wanted to do, but time will tell with that. I can assure you that everything is progressing in the right way.”

The QB was asked pointedly if that means that his finger is improving, but Hurts just reiterated, “everything is progressing in the right way.”

As for whether throwing or ball handling was the biggest challenge after his injury, Hurts said that everything is a challenge when you have a finger out of place. The QB also acknowledged that the injury hurt more the next day, which led to him rethinking the decision to return in Sunday’s game.

NFL league links


Washington Post (paywall)

Jerod Mayo’s succession clause could fast-track him to be Patriots coach

The contract of New England Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo contains a head-coach succession clause that would allow the team to move quickly, if it chooses, to promote him to replace Bill Belichick, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Mayo’s contract was filed with the NFL and accepted, meaning that the league already has in effect approved the Patriots’ succession plan. If the Patriots promote Mayo, their de facto defensive coordinator, to succeed Belichick, they would not have to conduct any interviews to comply with the NFL’s minority hiring requirements, according to those people with knowledge of the situation.

It is not clear how binding the contract language is, or what would result under the contract terms if the Patriots do not name him Belichick’s successor.